Insurance giant Royal & Sun Alliance (R&SA) estimates it will save £500,000 a year by changing how it runs its business intelligence software.
The firm has been using Information Builders' Focus product running on an IBM S390 mainframe for about 20 years but is in the process of migrating to the supplier's WebFocus product on IBM's midrange RS/6000 platform running the AIX operating system.
The move is part of a wider £190m cost-cutting exercise, with IT seen as an area where significant savings can be made. Changes will also include a possible rationalisation of reporting tools.
Shaun Brewer, a technical specialist within the management information technology team at R&SA told vnunet.com that switching platform would allow the firm to slash annual running costs from £550,000 to £50,000.
"The project will involve up to 300 man days to transfer data over from the old system but we're expecting to break even on this project in the first year," he said.
"Although we are not changing the number of users, we have also gone for a lower number of power users who then feed out information to the rest." The WebFocus product will be rolled out to approximately 220 users.
Most of the migration work, which is due to be completed by the end of the year, is being completed offshore by Indian company Hexaware Technologies.
In addition to software from Information Builders, R&SA uses reporting tools from Gentia, SAS Institute, Business Objects and IDS.
"Currently, our strategic toolsets are Business Objects and SAS, but we want to standardise. My personal view is that I'd like us to use WebFocus more and SAS less because the former is cheaper," Brewer said.
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